BANGKOK (NNT) – To cope with economic uncertainties and fluctuations caused by international trade issues, the government is aiming to establish Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other countries as a tool to promote Thai exports.

The Ministry of Commerce is now set to resume Thai-EU FTA talks, which have been on hold since 2014.

A seminar will be taking place to take input from all stakeholders, such as government agencies, private companies, educational institutes, entrepreneurs and the general public, providing a platform for exchanges of opinions about economic and social aspects beneficial to Thailand, opportunities and challenges arising from the resumption of Thai-EU FTA negotiations.

The Department of Trade Negotiations Director General Auramon Supthaweethum said many countries in the region have already established FTAs with the European Union, such as Vietnam and Singapore, while Indonesia and the Philippines are proceeding with FTA talks.

Thailand’s 4th biggest trading partner

The EU is a big market with some 513 million population, and was Thailand’s 4th biggest trading partner last year with 47 billion U.S. dollar in trade value.

Thailand’s key exports to the EU include computers and parts, automobiles and parts, jewelry and accessories, electrical circuits, air conditioners and parts. Most of these products are affected by the trade war between the U.S. and China.

The FTAs established between the EU and other countries are considered of high standard when it comes to market opening for products, services and investments. The establishment of the FTA must be carefully considered as all sides still have concerns regarding the lack of supporting laws for the compensation fund for FTA-affected persons, which still require a budget allocation year by year.

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